Humpback whale rescued off coast of Cornwall

In the early hours of Easter Sunday, off the coast of Newlyn, a humpback whale found itself in a perilous situation.

The whale, who is affectionately named Ivy by locals, became entangled in fishermen’s ropes while swimming.

Here’s exactly what happened!

Discovery of Ivy’s situation

Ivy’s predicament became evident when a fishing boat in Mounts Bay noticed her unusual stillness and difficulty moving. It quickly alerted the Marine Strandings Network.

A wildlife-watching tour operated by Marine Discovery Penzance also encountered the whale and saw how she was trapped and motionless as she was caught in the net.

Hannah Wilson, co-owner of the tour, described Ivy as breathing only every three to four minutes—a sign not of immediate respiratory distress but of significant discomfort and immobility.

A beautiful underwater shot of two humpback whales swimming near the surface

Rescue operation

The rescue operation for Ivy unfolded with urgency as the day progressed.

Skipper Andy, associated with Atlantic Adventures, dedicated his day to monitoring Ivy’s condition from a safe distance, ensuring she remained visible to the rescue teams preparing to intervene.

As evening approached, a team from Penlee Lifeboat Station, armed with specialized equipment and trained volunteers, began the operation.

It was fraught with challenges, including navigating the choppy waters and ensuring the whale’s immense size didn’t pose an additional danger to the rescuers or further harm to herself.

The volunteers worked with precision and care, focusing on cutting the ropes that ensnared Ivy without causing her additional stress or injury.

They managed to do so successfully, and she swam away.

The Outcome and Reflections

After the intense effort to free her, Ivy was finally able to swim away in Mount’s Bay; hopefully, the fact that she was able to swim away shows her fortitude and that the ordeal didn’t affect her too much.

Constance Morris, from the community interest group Grampus Campus, reflected on the incident’s broader implications for marine wildlife. She emphasized how Ivy’s predicament should raise awareness about the dangers of marine debris and entanglement.

It’s a powerful reminder of our responsibility towards the oceans and their inhabitants, wherever we are in the world.

In Cornwall, we also have seals (read about them here) and dolphins (read about them here).

Liked this story? To stay updated with this and all my other South West England news, remember to sign up to my newsletter, like my Facebook page and join my Facebook group!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *